Google’s open source Chromium browser with a social spin
I first heard of this browser about a half-hour ago when I was surfing through StumbleUpon. I’m usually a little wary of installing apps I’ve never heard of from unknown sites – especially when I’m using Windows – but I did a little research and it looks like I’ve just been living under a rock for the past few years. Apparently, it’s a pretty popular browser. So you’ll have to forgive me if this is old news to you, but I thought it was pretty damn innovative.
RockMelt is a free social media web browser developed by Tim Howes and Eric Vishria. The project is backed by Netscape founder Marc Andreessen. RockMelt integrates a technique for surfing the web that focuses on Google Search and social media, in particular Facebook and Twitter.
Like I said; I just installed RockMelt a few minutes ago, so I haven’t really gotten my hands dirty with it just yet, but I’m liking it so far. Each of the ‘Edges’ on either side of the page are easily toggled on or off via silent mode, to avoid clutter when you’re not engaging in any social activity.
The Apps Edge on the left provides you with notifications from social networking and news sites of your choice, broadcasting updates in a fashion similar to what you get with Facebook. The bar off to the right is called the ‘Friend Edge’ – it’s more or less a means of staying connected to Facebook’s IM service and possibly adds some Twitter functionality,
but I haven’t gotten that far yet.
Scratch that – just got a twitter notification a few seconds after writing that last sentence. DM’s pop up in the bottom right corner. Actually, it looks like each tweet pops up in a little message bubble. Kind of annoying.
Anyway; I just unlinked my Twitter account, but other than that it’s a pretty slick browser.
You can update your social accounts much like apps similar to Tweet Deck allow – through clicking the little pencil logo in the top left of the window. Beyond just status updates, you can send direct messages and write on the wall of/tweet to your Facebook and Twitter friends as well as send out emails via Gmail integration.
Facebook is really the main focus here. Right next to the tabbed-window area lies your friend requests, messages and notification icons for easy off-site access.
Pretty creative approach to browsing the Web – though I wouldn’t recommend using it as your default browser – you don’t want to unknowingly update your Facebook and Twitter accounts when you forget that you’re using a social network-based browser. I recommend turning off the social reader function as well. If you read a ton of different articles throughout the day, your friend’s newsfeed will be taken over by your spam.
For what it is though, I like it. It’s great for those lazy Web-surfing days. RockMelt is available for Windows and OS X, and you can grab it here.